Can I contract that any new tenant provides their own reference?Make Text Bigger
Looking into the mine field of the consequences of the new tenant fees act. I have several HMO’s with 4 or 5 tenants all on a single joint contract (ie. a shared house scenario).
Generally about once a year, at a point the contract has become periodic, a tenant will want to move out and the others want to stay. At this point I say that’s fine if they want to find another sharer and require the incoming tenant to cover the charge of a reference check. I then draw up a new contract, we all sign, I re-protect the deposit and I make no further charge.
As I understand it, I can no longer charge the incoming tenant for the reference, but could I make it a condition of the contract that when this situation arises, that any new tenant the others want to have join them must provide a current reference from a recognised agent such as the RLA.
Also, is registering the new tenant line up with the deposit protection scheme a reasonable cost as well as drawing up a new contract and liasing with the new tenant.
I’m guessing it’s a big no to all these questions and the only answer is to put the rent up. Thought I’d ask anyway.
Many thanks for all and any replies.
What fees can I ask a tenant to pay?
You cannot require a tenant (or anyone acting on their behalf or guaranteeing their rent) to make certain payments in connection with a tenancy. You cannot require them to enter a contract with a third party or make a loan in connection with a tenancy.
The only payments you can charge in connection with a tenancy are:
- The rent
- A refundable tenancy deposit capped at no more than five weeks’ rent where the annual rent is less than £50,000, or six weeks’ rent where the total annual rent is £50,000 or above
- A refundable holding deposit (to reserve a property) capped at no more than one week’s rent
- Payments to change the tenancy when requested by the tenant, capped at £50, or reasonable costs incurred if higher
- Payments associated with early termination of the tenancy, when requested by the tenant
- Payments in respect of utilities, communication services, TV licence and council tax; and
- A default fee for late payment of rent and replacement of a lost key/security device, where required under a tenancy agreement
If the fee you are charging is not on this list, it is a prohibited payment and you should not charge it. A prohibited payment is a payment outlawed under the ban.
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